The Basic Steps in Painting Furniture

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Generally, the best policy is to start with the areas that are least seen—bottom parts, legs, and the like. For the last coat it is best to begin high and work down.

On panels, the molding must be brushed first, then top to center and bottom to center. After the primary panel, brush the top and bottom rails and legs. The rails are brushed right to center, then left to center. Don’t work an area from corners to the center.

On chair or table legs, paint around with the turnings, holding the brush close to the ferrule.

Some Helpful Hints

Here are tips on painting outdoors after you have put a new rail on the porch stairs, or put a fresh piece of siding on the outside of a house, or maybe even tackle a bigger job. 

1. A white blotter will give you a great idea of the color of paint when it is dry.

2. Never paint in very cold or frosty weather.

3. Do not paint wet or moist surfaces, or dirty and greasy surfaces.

4. Shellac any knots in the wood to avoid pitch or sap from coming through the paint.

5. Do not paint over blistered, loose, cracked, or peeling paint. Take out these imperfections.

6. Do not apply second or third coats until former ones are dry.

7. Putty all holes after the first or priming coat.

8. Don’t use cheap paint oils—use only pure linseed oils.

9. Do not use old worn-out brushes and expect a great job.

10. Brush the paint in. Don’t flow it on.

11. Do not prime using ocher or cheap paint.

12. Several thin coats are better than one thick coat.

13. Any paint can become insect repellant by adding a couple of teaspoonful of citronella, D.D.T., or oil of wintergreen to every gallon.

14. When you keep paint, it is a good idea to show on the outside label the color and how much is still in the can.

15. To get rid of lumps in paint, cut a piece of screening to the size of the paint can. After stirring the paint, insert the circle of screening and let it settle. Any lumps would settle below the screen, maintaining the top portion clear.

16. Paint odor can be minimized by adding a teaspoonful of vanilla to every gallon of paint.

17. For painting a ceiling, a long-handled roller, made by securing to a broom handle, would save much bending and ladder moving.

18. Steps that are in current use must be painted alternate steps at a time. While one set dries, paint the other set. Thus an entrance needed is never be blocked. 

When painting walls, naturally, it is commonly needed to size the plaster or surface on which you are going to paint. A plaster wall would have a considerable amount of absorbent capacity for whatever liquid. Apparently if this wall could be coated using an impervious film and the absorption of the paint diminished, the net result might be a saving in expense and an even color on the surface when it dries. When part of an area —hardware or decoration—is to be left unpainted, you could mask the area or cover it with petroleum jelly such as Vaseline. After painting, any droppings can be removed readily.

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